Being Salt and Light in Ocean View, HI

Luke 14_16-25

¬†Aloha ocean view Baptist Church it’s great to be with you this morning a lot of exciting things happening in the world today and by exciting we mean difficult and so want to let you know that we miss you very much that we’re praying for you want to give you a couple of announcements and then we’ll get started with the sermon for today the first one is that we do have a place for people to give online if you go to oceanview bc org and then there’s a little button little clicker that you click it says donate and under donate there’s a place that you can give I want to say thank you for those of you who have given and want to encourage you to give we are a giving Church one of our core values is to give the way that God gave to give of our time our talent and our treasure it’s a big part in our worship and wanted to let you know that that was available for those of you who love giving so that’s available if you click on that button it’s like a PayPal link and that connects with our bank account when you do that when you give it you have two options if you already have a PayPal account you can just link it to that one and give and you can give in a way that’s monthly so it just gives monthly just come straight out of your checking account or you can do a one-time gift the other thing you can do is if you have a debit card or a credit card or something like that you can give through that link so you just put in your number and it gives to the church the other thing that you can do is you can just send your check to our P o box and so that’s another way to do it thank you so much again for those of you who do give and we want to make that available to you the other thing that we want to announce is on April 12th we do have a business meeting and that business meeting is on Easter Sunday it’s going to be at 3 o’clock since we are in the midst social distancing that will be an online meeting if you’re familiar with zoom we’ll be doing a zoom meeting if you’re not familiar and you’re a member you’ll be getting an email you’re gonna click on the link and and that’s where we’ll be doing our meeting so we want to encourage our members to attend that meeting so with that said we’ve had a couple of great things going on we had Nate that was able to deliver a message that that dropped on Tuesday night and Allen who delivered a message that dropped on Friday night and they’ve been continuing our study in the book of Luke but I want to remind you of where we’ve been we looked when I taught last we looked at this question how many people were going to be saved and there was this idea that Jesus gave about including the Gentiles and it was a slap in the face of his pharisaical audience who believed that because they were children of Abraham that they would be automatically be saved and he talked about how it’s not about just being Jewish it’s not about doing good works it’s about being a part of the family of God it’s about being in relationship with Jesus he talked about how all tribes people coming from the east and the west and the north and the south would be a part of his family and so I want to remind us of that that that’s kind of the context it’s this context of salvation when naix spoke he talked about healing on the Sabbath and how the Pharisees had made a big deal of healing on the Sabbath and so Alan was giving the example of humility and how we need to humble ourselves that was our application but the real application and for Jesus day there was this humility of accepting the Gentiles and that salvation comes not again through what we do the works that we do who were related to or anything like that it comes through a relationship a personal relationship with God and so as we look at our text today in Luke chapter 14 we need to keep those things in mind because Jesus is going to build on this theme we’ve got this long section through the the Book of Luke with all of these ideas and information that Jesus has given us and they all connect together so we need a couple what we’ve already learned with what we are going to learn it gives us the context and if you’ll remember if you leave the text or you take the text out of its context you’re left with a con and so we want to continue to look at this context when I was a young man just getting out of high school my I had to make a decision and that decision was whether I was going to continue my job for the summer which paid pretty well for a high school student or if I was going to go to camp and be a camp counselor and make very little money but be a camp counselor and I went to my dad and I was having a hard time making that decision and I said to my dad can you make this decision for me and up to that point my dad had made decisions for me and had helped me to make those decisions and I was never really allowed to make big decisions by myself and my dad said no I can’t help you and he literally won’t give me any information other than I’m not going to make this decision for you and I remember that decision is one of the most important decisions of my life I ended up going to camp and spending the summer at camp and and making very little money but again when I make big decisions today I always remember that first big decision I made and Jesus is going to address this idea of big decisions and how to make big decisions and the biggest decision that you’ll ever make in your life so look with me in Luke chapter 14 starting in verse 16 it says this but he said but he said to him a man was giving a big dinner and if you’ll remember were at the seat at the table of this Pharisee and so when Jesus is speaking he’s talking to this Pharisee and when he a man was giving a big dinner and he invited many and at the diner hour at the dining hour he sent a slave to say to those who had been invited come for everything is ready now but they all began to make excuses okay so Jesus is explaining this other parable and it’s a parable of a man who’s got a great big house and he’s making he’s made dinner and he’s sending out for his friends to come to the dinner but all these people are going to make excuses now we’ve got this is kind of high society tight people okay so this is a big deal that this dinner that has been made and this man has been spending all of this time and all of this money and he’s made all these preparations for his friends the people in his same class the upper level class to come and they’re going to make excuses so now we’ve got some excuses that these folks have made starting in verse 18 the first one said to him I’ve bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it please consider me excused another said to him I have bought five yoke of oxen and I’m going to try them out please consider me excused another said I have married a wife and for that reason I cannot calm so we’ve got three different people and they all have a different excuse okay basically what this is going to point to is people’s excuse to get out of coming to the kingdom of God okay remember we’re already talking about this idea of the the Gentile being added into the kingdom of God and some of the Jewish folks being excused from the kingdom of God this first guy has bought a piece of land now you can imagine that that’s a pretty big deal to buy a piece of land in Jesus day it’s a big deal to buy a piece of land in our day we’ve got lots of people that even help us real estate agents and real estate attorneys and escrow and the state gets involved in all of these different things happen when we buy a piece of land so this guy says I can’t come to dinner because I’ve got this piece of real estate this really expensive piece of property that I’m dealing with okay now he’s already bought it and he’s just gonna go check it out or something like that the second guy says I’ve got these five yoke of oxen now again that’s a significant purchase but he is more concerned about these oxen than he is about the dinner he doesn’t see the dinner as an important part of his life and then finally we’ve got a guy who gets married hey I’ve got married I’ve got this wife now I don’t think the wedding is happening at the same time as the dinner but he is focusing his attention on his family and all of these guys have an excuse to get out of the kingdom of God look at verse 21 with me and the slave came back and reported this to his master and the head of the household became angry and said to his slave go out at once into the streets and the lanes and bring in all the poor and the crippled and the blank the blind and the lame and the slave said master what you command has been done and still there is room and the master said go out into the highways and among the hedges and compel them to come in so that my house may be filled for I tell you none of those men who were invited shall taste the dinner now you can see we’ve got different classes of people here the first group is is the elite group they’re buying property they’re buying ox and they’re getting married they all of these things going on and then after that you’ve got this this other group they’re poor they’re crippled they’re blind in their lane okay I think what’s going on here is that Jesus the the elite group is how the Jewish people felt about Jewish people and it’s also how the Jewish people felt about Gentile people the poor crippled and length that is the Gentiles within the story and what is happening is that the elite people have rejected the the dinner the banquet feast of the Lamb the kingdom of God and that is going to open the door for not only these poor lame blind crippled folks to come in but also everybody else it’s like our the the lowest classes are also invited you can see a couple of key words here is that the head of the household becomes angry he’s opened up this amazing opportunity and people have rejected it okay the other thing that’s interesting and again I think this connects with all that other stuff that they’re gonna come from the north and the south and the east and the west into the kingdom of God this is Jesus reaching out to those of us who are Gentile and the church has really grown amongst the Gentiles and not much amongst Jewish folks and so I think that’s kind of what’s going on look at Devers 25 now large clouds were going along with him and he turned and said to them if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brother and sister and yes even his own life he cannot be my disciple now this really reminds me of Luke 9:23 if anyone is to come after me he must deny himself take up his cross daily and follow me it’s kind of that same call now interesting what he says is and here’s a key word to underline if you don’t hate if you don’t hate now I don’t think what Jesus is saying is that you’re supposed to hate your father and your mother your brothers and your sisters and all those different type of people what I think he’s saying is that the your love for God your love for Jesus your desire to follow him the way that you live your life and and the way that you do the things that you do needs to be so focused on Jesus that by comparison those people in your family are hated or they look like they’re hated okay and so that’s what Jesus is saying here like the call to follow Jesus it’s not just you know this might work out I saw a sign that says try Jesus that’s not Jesus message to us Jesus message to us is not oh just try me out and if it doesn’t work out go back to what you’re doing but you’ll be so impressed by what I have to offer that you’ll follow me for the rest of your life that’s not what Jesus said Jesus is going to say look to follow me means that you are going to suffer that’s there’s going to be difficulties he is calling people to complete 100 percent allegiance to give away everything that you have to the poor to follow him all of these things are going to point back to following Jesus comes at a cost following Jesus comes at a cost let’s a look at verse 27 says this whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot become my disciple okay the and again we’ve got this word disciple of disciple as someone who follows Jesus and in verse 27 again there’s this message of carry your own cross now in our day we wear crosses as necklaces we put crosses on our walls we adorn our churches with crosses and Jesus des the cross was an instrument of torture it was an instrument of death and crucifixion and so in what Jesus is really saying it’s kind of like our electric chair today you wouldn’t wear an electric chair necklace around your neck or a noose around your knee you’re you’re really asking for trouble if you’re wearing a noose around your neck but that’s what’s going on this is the the cross represents it represents death and Jesus is saying if you want to be my disciple you’ve got to put yourself to death like you can no longer be in charge of your life that Jesus is the center of your life he is the one who makes all of those decisions now a lot of times when we share the gospel with people we want an immediate response we want people to come to Jesus which is understandable but what Jesus is going to say is that this isn’t a light decision this isn’t like okay you haven’t been thinking about Jesus or God or anything and then for three seconds someone presents the Gospel message to you and you give your life to him right at that moment he’s going to tell us look this is a this is the most important decision you’re going to make this is the biggest decision you’re going to make once you make this decision you can’t unmake it so when you do make it make sure that it’s what you really want look at it he’s going to give us some examples of what it means to follow Jesus in verse 28 he says this for which one of you when he wants to build a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it otherwise when he has lay the foundation and is not able to finish all who observe it begin to ridicule him saying this man began to build and was not able to finish okay so we have this example think of it kind of this way when we build a house we first come up with a prynt and we come up with a cost analysis in fact that’s our first question when we build a house is what’s it going to cost and we can come up with that cost based on square footage and different things like that Jesus is saying it even in his day people thought like that ok it’s obvious that if you’re going to build something if you’re going to build a tower you’re gonna build a house or something that one of your first considerations is what’s it going to cost because it would be ridiculous to start a house and put a bunch of money into it and not be able to finish it and not be able to move into it and Jesus is saying look there’s a cost associated with building something if you don’t consider the cost if you don’t put that as a priority if you don’t put that as something important when you start this process and you’re not able to finish it you’re gonna be embarrassed the people around you are gonna ridicule you like hey this guy started something he wasn’t able to finish and Jesus is saying that about following him here’s the the deal is what Jesus is gonna say when you follow me it’s going to cost you there is going to be a price to pay that price that you need to pay is yor entire life it’s everything you can’t just give Jesus part of you you have to give Jesus the whole thing that’s what it means to be a disciple that’s what it means to be saved okay look it he’s going to give a another example example number two is in verse 31 he says or what King when he sets out to meet another king of battle will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand men or else while the other is still far away he sends a delegation and asked for terms of peace okay next example is king with ten thousand men going to go into battle with the King against 20,000 men if he doesn’t have a really great strategy two against one usually just doesn’t work and he says wouldn’t it be smart for the King to consider the outcome before he gets started because he’s got a lot to lose he’s got his men that he’ll lose he’ll probably also lose his kingdom he’ll no longer be a king so consider what the cost is before going into battle because if you can’t win the battle if you can win the battle you gain another Kingdom but if you lose the battle you lose your life you lose your kingdom and your life and so he’s going to say that is something to consider look at example number three in verse 33 so then none of you can be my disciple who does not give up all of his own possessions now that’s interesting if you want to be Jesus disciple he says you have to give up all of your possessions okay this is giving up everything that you own it’s giving up all of your stuff but it’s also giving up all of you now we don’t a lot of times talk about the kingdom of God like this a lot of times when we talk about following Jesus the the message is hey you want to be happy do you want to be healthy do you want to have great things in your life then follow Jesus Jesus said hey look in John chapter 15 like they’re gonna torture me and beat me and all of these things and if they’re going to do it to me they’re going to do it to my followers as well they’re going to do it to you they’re going to do to you what they’ve done to me in other words Jesus is saying the cost is super high the cost is super high you cannot get away from the cost so consider it before you follow me now there is benefit that benefit is a relationship with God that relationship with God goes for the rest of eternity we call it eternal life eternal life doesn’t start when you die eternal life starts when you when you give your life to Jesus now again that doesn’t mean your life will be happy or healthy or anything what it does mean is that God goes through you through the difficult times with you he doesn’t remove you from the difficult times but he goes through it with you he says hey look don’t worry that’s my job well that’s something you have to give up to God if you’re worried about our current times if you’re worried about anything you have to give that up to God that is part of following Jesus you’re not allowed to worry anymore that’s his job my wife and I had a vehicle that was really beat-up and for a while we were worried about it but then we realized that since we’re disciples of Jesus Christ we don’t own anything we’re stewards of the things that God has given us and so my prayer went from please get this car from point A to point B to Lord you’ve got a car down here that has a problem and you have to deal with it see I’m just a steward of the things that you have entrusted in my life and so that changes the way that we think I’m a steward of my body and I want to do the best I can with exercise and different things but ltimately it’s not up to me whether I contract diseases and I’ve got to give those things to God that’s part of following Jesus so well we don’t get to decide how we spend our money we also don’t have to worry we don’t have to fret we don’t have to fear we don’t have to drink or be drunkards we don’t have to do those things you say well I’ve struggled with sin and different things in my life for years and years and years and I cannot break that sin well you are in a great place my and realizing that you can’t do it as is part of the process that God has to do it in you it’s not your responsibility now that doesn’t free us from work we need to work as if it all depends upon us and pray and trust as if it all depends upon God and God does a good work in us when we exhibit faith and our work is faith and God does the rest in us look at verse 34 again we have another parable another story about this and we immediately jump to that and this means a little different thing but in verse 34 he says therefore salt is good but if even salt becomes tastless with what will it be seasoned if it is used it is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile it is thrown out he who has ears let him hear now in other Gospels mark and Matthew we and specifically Matthew we have this idea of salt and how you’re like the light of the world and you’re the salt of the world and you need to be flavored and see your you know your the seasoning that brings people to Jesus here he’s talking about discipleship he’s talking about following Jesus and he’s talking about a life and basically what he’s saying here is well think about it this way what would happen if the table salt that you got on your kitchen table no longer flavored your food if you sprinkled it on there and it didn’t do anything and you said oh well I need a little bit more and sprinkle a little bit more and it still didn’t do anything and then you put a little bit in your hand and and and put it to your lips and it no longer what would you do with it okay first of all you can’t put it in your compost material because it’s going to ruin the compost material you can’t put it on your soil I mean what it’s like he’s basically saying what if salt lost its very nature of being salty now salt in Jesus day was a little different than our day we have so much salt we’ve got a you know go on low sodium diets to get salted of our diets but in Jesus day salt was an important part of life there’s actually some things insult that give you life and if you don’t go if you go for a long enough time without salt you’ll actually perish you’ll actually die because there’s some nutrients in there so it’s life-giving so in Jesus day was also a preservative it made things last longer they didn’t have refrigerators and different things like that and basically you say look if you don’t give your life to Jesus you’re your life is worthless it’s not even suitable for the manure pile yes that’s pretty bad you don’t get much lower than that and that’s what Jesus is saying here look you have one life there is a cost to follow Jesus but along with that cost there is something that is something that you can lose you can lose the very essence of life if you don’t follow Jesus he goes on to say he who has ears let him hear now again Jesus is making this this relationship available with you and I but he’s also giving us kind of a map for making big decisions and so I want to give you a map for making some big decisions when we make decisions let me give you a few questions that you can ask in order to decide whether something is a good or a bad decision first question you can ask is it legal in other words is it something that’s allowed by the law if it’s not something that’s allowed by the law then I shouldn’t be doing it second question is it ethical in other words will it hurt other people it may be legal but it might not be ethical and so we asked that about the decision we’re making third question is it biblical and what we mean by that is is it something that God allows the laws of our land may allow certain things but the laws of God may not allow those things fourth question is it wise is this something that would benefit me or is it something that would make my life worse next question can I afford it you know in our day and age it’s so easy to get credit that we can pretty much afford anything we want unless we start living our lives with cash we live our life without debt and with cash I kind of think like if I can’t pay for it with cash then God is saying no God is saying no I can’t afford it mmm another question not only can I afford it but is it in my budget now my wife and I sit down and have a budget meeting and at the beginning of the month and we determine what we’re going to spend our money on we give every dollar a plan in every dollar job and if I if it’s not in my budget I’ve got to go through another budget cycle or have a budget meeting with my wife to decide if that’s something we can afford and then finally what does my spouse or family think about it now these are questions that we can use for big decisions that we make now not every decision is a big decision we don’t need to run this process through a pack of gum when we’re standing in line at Walmart or something but you know for other decisions whether they’re financial decisions or whether there are other decisions that that we eed to make part of that can I afford it question can I afford it mentally can I afford it spiritually that’s the question that Jesus is asking have you considered the cost there is a high cost to follow Jesus there’s a high or for following Jesus but you’d be foolish not to consider that cost okay if you have given your life to Jesus you are not your own you’ve been bought with a price and so we need to honor God with our body with everything that we have and everything that we are well I hope that this finds a seed that this seat will be planted within your heart and will find purchase in the soil of your heart I believe that God is in control that he loves you deeply and dearly that he’s calling you to himself the question is how many will be saved and the answer is those that give themselves to Jesus so have you done that if you have you have no need to worry no need to fret no need to to have consternation during this difficult time in our history in this pivot point in our history where virus viruses are spreading throughout our world he has got this you are not your own you’ve been bought with a price and whether you get a disease or whether you go throughout this life without ever getting another one God is in control you and I can do this He loves us deeply and dearly we’re all in this together and God has got your back let’s go to the Lord in a word of Prayer father we do thank you so much for today we thank you for this opportunity to grow in our relationship with you we pray that you will give us guidance and direction that you will calm our nerves that you will take our worry from us that you will reinforce in our heart the hope that we have in Christ Jesus we thank you and we pray

all of these things in Jesus name Amen

 

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